Grilled Whole Sea Bass with Salmoriglio Sauce

If sea bass isn’t available, you can subtitute snapper. Fish weighing more than 2 pounds will be hard to maneuver on the grill.

SALMORIGLIO SAUCE

1/4 cup extra -virgin olive oil

1  1/2 tbsp minced fresh oregano

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 small garlic clove, minced

1/8 tsp salt

1/ tsp pepper

FISH

2 ( 1 1/2- to 2 -pound) whole sea bass, scaled, gutted, fins snipped off with scissors

3 tbsp extra- virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1.FOR THE SALMORIGLIO SAUCE: Whisk all ingredients in bowl until combined; cover and set aside for serving.

2A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open botoom vent completely. Light large chimny starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

2B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burnesr to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.

3. Rinse each sea bass under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels inside and out. Using sharp knife, make 3 or 4 shallow slashes, about 2 inches apart, on both sides of sea bass.Rub sea bass with oil and season generously with salt and pepper inside and outside.

4. Clean cooking grate, then repeatedly brush grate with well-oiled paper towels until black and glossy, 5 to 10 times.  Place sea bass on grill and cook (covered if using gas) until skin is browned and beginning to blister on first side, 6 to 8 minutes. Using spatula, lift bottom of thick backbone edge of sea bass from cooking  grate just enough to slide second spatula under fish. Remove first spatula, then use it to support raw side of sea bass as you use second spatula flip fish over. Cook (covered if using gas) until second side is browned, beginning to blister, and sea bass registers 140 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes.

5.Carefully transfer sea bass to carving board and let rest for 5 minutes. Fillet sea bass by making vertical cut just behind head from top of fish to belly. Make another cut on top of sea bass from head to tail. Use spatula to lift meat from bones to lift out fillet. Repeat on other side of sea bass. Discard head and skeleton. Serve with sauce.

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